Today we have invited Isabel Freitas to be our guest blogger. Isabel is married to the love of her life and has two amazing boys. She loves being a mommy and today she is chatting about her personal experience with breastfeeding. We've met Isabel through Social Media. She has a fabulous Instagram account that I follow daily and a great website too. Feel free to post your comments and thank you for following us. With love, Susana.
My Breastfeeding Experience + What No One Tells You
My dream was always to breastfeed all of my kids! When I was pregnant with Sam, the OB would always ask if I'd breastfeed or bottle feed and my answer was always "breastfeed". I read all the info I could in those 9 months. I researched about every single thing that could help me with breastfeeding, and I couldn't feel more ready to do it.
My friends and I would talk about the subject. We would mention about how some people couldn't do it. I was so sure they hadn't been able to breastfeed because of lack of information. I judged those mothers, as if they couldn't do it because they didn't try hard enough. Then my time came... and I wasn't able to do it.
Everyone talks about breastfeeding as it being the most natural thing in the world, so it sounded very easy to do. It sounded like all you had to do is just hold your baby and he'll latch on perfectly and the whole experience will be the best thing in the world. It is the best thing in the world once you overcome the hardest part of it, the beginning!
Now, with my second son Daniel, I am being able to breastfeed, but it isn't easy and I'm sure my first experience had a big impact on it as well as mine and many of my friends' prayers.
I found many obstacles and the way I dealt with them lead me to be unable to breastfeed my first son, but the way I have been dealing with them the second time around has lead me to succeed in this big accomplishment! Here we go:
Crazy hormones + sadness
- Since I didn't know these heavy emotions were waiting for me, I wasn't prepared to deal with them. I was hit by it very hard. I would be laughing (and being happy) but then I would eventually cry and get very sad throughout the day. No one really talks about this and it was so unexpected.
- The second time around, with Daniel, I knew my hormones would be crazy. I knew that if I gave in I would get sad, so I held the Lord's hand and let Him guide me through the first few days.
- You hear everyone saying that when you have kids you will barely get any sleep, but I had no idea until I actually had them. Every time Sam would cry waking me up at night I would get mad. It didn't even cross my mind what he was going through trying to adapt to a whole new world and a whole new way of being fed and comforted. I was SO SO tired. I had never felt like that and all I could think was that I didn't wanna wake up that many times.
- This time, with Daniel, I knew what was coming. I knew I would have to feed him every two hours so I chose to have a positive attitude. I chose to wake up extremely tired, but happy, because that was my little baby, who is a lot more fragile than I am and he needed me. I didn't even wait for him to cry, I just watched for the signs of hunger and I fed him, which made me and him a lot more relaxed during feeding time when we were still just learning how to do it together.
Too many opinions/ interference
- Everyone will give you advices and tell you how to do it or how not to do it. I would get extremely confused, stressed, frustrated and worried thinking I was doing everything wrong.
- This time, I heard everything people said but I followed the advices I felt were right. We are the mothers of our children, so we know what's best for them like no one else does. We should always follow our hearts!
- I knew breastfeeding could hurt. I had heard it from other moms, but I just had no idea that it would hurt that much! I felt a lot of pain in the first 10 days of breastfeeding Sam. I couldn't take it, not only physically, but I was so emotionally drained from all the things I've mentioned above that I decided to pump and bottle feed him instead. This decision messed up everything and I ended up with two extremely engorged breasts to which I couldn't pump anymore. No milk would come out at all.
- This time around, I was ready to overcome the pain and every other obstacle that would come with it. My nipples cracked and it hurt a lot, but I was very determined. Also, I used a breast shell that protected my nipple and kept anything from touching it, which made me only feel pain when he would first latch on. All the pain ended around the 10th day. It doesn't last forever.
After the first 10 days I got more comfortable. The more we did it, the more I learned how to better position him and, he learned how to latch on! My nipples were very sensitive, to the point that I couldn't wrap a towel around my body. By the end of the second month that was over, and my breasts felt fine again!
After the huge difficulty of the first 10 days, breastfeeding started to get better and better. Now, almost 4 months down the road I feel extremely happy and accomplished that I was able to overcome these things. I'm not a pro yet, and I can't breastfeed him in a sling, carrier, or just any position. Lol. I only like one position and, I still don't feel completely comfortable breastfeeding in public but I love it. Daniel is starting to smile, and look at me. He also gets distracted by things around him now. It's so cute! There's nothing better than the love and bond that comes with breastfeeding! It's worth it!